To the uninitiated, the fashion month, which lasts four weeks during which designers from around the world showcase their latest collections in New York, London, Milan and Paris might seem like nothing but a crazed frenzy of stomping stilettos and clinking champagne flutes…but there is so much more to it. It’s a time when the aforementioned cities come alive with parties, shop openings and all kinds of events that you can buy tickets to.
This week, it all comes to a head in Paris, which many would say, puts the grandest show of all with calibre brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel debuting their autumn/winter collections for the year. These are some of the oldest fashion houses in the business, and their runway shows reflect that, so right now, Paris is more star-studded than usual- think Jennifer Lawrence, Celine Dion and Cara Delevingne who are all in town.
Where the celebrities are checking in
You’ll never know for sure because discretion is the watchword for many Parisian grande dames that regularly host celebrities and the who’s who of the fashion world, but Le Bristol has been a favorite among A-listers for quite some time now. Karlie Kloss calls it home whenever she is in the City of Lights, as do the likes of Miranda Kerr and George Clooney.
Could it be the convenient location of the hotel in the 8th arrondissement?Maybe… But if we had to bet on it, we would say it’s the hotel’s authentic Parisian-style decor and impeccable service that keep the A-listers coming. The hotel invokes the decadence of France’s imperial age with its grand salons, old-school furnishings, crystal chandeliers and plush flower arrangements.
On the 6th floor, Le Bristol’s retro-chic pool surrounded by wood paneling, and flanked on two sides by floor-to-ceiling windows, is yet another portal to a different world. From here, views across the Paris skyline are as spectacular as they get- and yours to enjoy- before a meal at chef Eric Frechon’s three-Michelin- star Epicure restaurant.
Where you should check in
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
If Le Bristol can’t spare a room for your last-minute trip to Paris, may we recommend the Dorchester Collection’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée…
Sitting right on the prestigious avenue Montaigne (where Armani, Dior and Chanel have flagship stores), this is no ordinary bolthole. It’s an Haute Couture address, and the hotel interiors- and rooms- match the surroundings with screen times in many fashion-themed movies like Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. Maybe it’s the classic, chandelier-heavy lounge areas that draw in the international crowd…or maybe it’s Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred restaurant with its stunning, contemporary decor and innovative menu.
The glamorous Le Bar du Plaza Athénée is just as impressive, with its bergère chairs redone as bar stools and illuminated glass bar. Try the house black mojito and jelly shots to understand why the watering hole is a favorite among celebrities and Parisians in the know.
Don’t miss this cafe, bar and restaurant
If you’re in Paris for the most fashionable week of the year, then there is a cafe, a bar and a restaurant that you ought to know about for an extra fun and stylish time in the city: Le Café de Flore, L’Avenue and Les Ambassadeurs at the recently remodeled Hôtel de Crillon.
Le Café de Flore
It’s a fashion-crowd favorite that has seen everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to Jean-Paul Sartre at its tables. Make a stop at this legendary hangout on Boulevard Saint-Germain for a perfectly cooked croque-monsieur and coffee that you can enjoy out on the terrace as you people-watch.
Paris is the home of great food, but there are some restaurants that still manage to stand out and earn the reputation of being a popular spot for celebrity sightings. Take this upscale restaurant for instance. Located on the swanky Avenue Montaigne, and just off the Champs Elysées, it’s where the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier and Beyonce stop by for lobster pasta to uninterrupted views of Dior and Versace flagship stores. It doesn’t get more stylish than that, does it?
Live music in Paris doesn’t get better than at this brand-new bar in the iconic Hôtel de Crillon. The room dates back to the 18th century and it has soaring slabs of marble walls, fresco-painted ceilings and gilded moldings to show for it, but the furniture and overall ambience has been given a contemporary makeover, courtesy of designer Chahan Minassian.
The champagne and cocktail menu is as much of a draw with over 100 references, each enticing in their own way. Our recommendation? Don’t leave this place without trying their signature Les Marquise concoction. Made with rose and raspberry cordial, bitter rhubarbe and champagne, there is nothing quite like it.
Paris’s cobblestone streets sure have a lot to offer, don’t you think?